Russia to label Jehovah’s Witnesses as ‘extremist organization’
The Russian Government through the Ministry of Justice has made a move to tag Jehovahâ€™s Witnesses, an extremist organization after several years of the government’s doubt concerning the group.
A lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court of Russia against the nation’s headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it was not dated and has not yet been slated for legal action, according to the USA Today report.
In reaction to the filing, the office of the press for the Russian headquarters of the religion released a statement on Thursday, March 17, saying it would representÂ dire
consequencesÂ for religious freedom in the country if approved.
It says: Extremism is deeply alien to the Bible-based beliefs and morality of Jehovahâ€™s Witnesses.
Persecution of the faithful for peaceful anti-extremism legislation is built on frank fraud,
incompetent individual â€˜expertsâ€™ and, as a result, a miscarriage of justice.
The press office said that the decision, if passed by the court, would directly affect more than 175,000 members in more than 2,000 congregations in Russia.
But, this is not first time Jehovah’s Witnesses have been facing legal battles. In 2009, a court ruled against the group’s publications in Russian-language. The popular Watchtower was regarded as an extremist publication and barred it.
In 2015, a Russian court ruled that the Jehovah’s Witnesses website was also an extremist publication.